THERE has been a “miraculous turnaround” in the treatment of international workers since Baiada Poultry was named and shamed over its labour-hire practices earlier in the year.
The Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Union (AMIEU) says the chicken giant reacted swiftly following a scathing report published by the Fair Work Ombudsman in June. The 18-month investigation, relying heavily on information supplied by the union, found evidence of systematic foreign worker exploitation at the company’s Tamworth abattoir.
The report detailed examples of “significant” underpayment, “extremely” long hours of work and “overcrowded and unsafe” worker accommodation.
But AMIEU Newcastle and Northern NSW branch secretary Grant Courtney said there had been a noticeable change in the rates of pay to foreign workers.
“Recent evidence we’ve collected from workers shows they’ve gone from ... earning very little, to now being paid either the site or award rates,” Mr Courtney said.